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What Are the Best Tips for Grilling Filet Mignon?

Grilling filet mignon to perfection involves high heat for a quick sear and a touch of patience for a juicy center. Season simply to let the beef's flavor shine, and always let it rest before serving to retain its succulence. For a flawless feast, remember: timing is key. How do you ensure your steak is grilled to perfection every time?
Dee Jones
Dee Jones

Filet mignon is a prime cut of meat known for its tenderness and taste. When grilling filet mignon, use a utensil that won’t pierce the meat, like a spatula or cooking tongs, as piercing the meat will cause it to lose its natural juices. After seasoning the filet mignon, but before placing it on the grill, allow it to set out for about 30 to 45 minutes, until it reaches room temperature. Cooking filet mignon for too long, at too a high a temperature, can result in a dry, tough steak. After removing the filet mignon from the grill, cover the meat and allow it to rest for about five minutes before serving.

The mistake many people make when grilling filet mignon for the first time is doing too much to it, especially seasoning it. A filet mignon has a wonderful, natural flavor, and doesn’t need as much seasoning as some other cuts of beef in order to be flavorful. In fact, over-seasoning filet mignon can hide its delicious, natural flavor. Before cooking filet mignon, season it with ground black pepper. Don’t salt the meat until late in the cooking process because salting filet mignon before it has been seared on both sides will draw out its natural juices and result in a tough steak.

Hot charcoal in a grill.
Hot charcoal in a grill.

When grilling filet mignon, cooking time will depend on the desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to judge when the steak has cooked for long enough. For those who want a rare filet mignon, cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F (about 54°C). Those who would prefer a medium steak should cook the meat until it reaches 145°F (about 63°C). A well done steak needs to reach an internal temperature of 160°F (about 71°C).

A filet mignon should be allowed to rest for at least five minutes before serving.
A filet mignon should be allowed to rest for at least five minutes before serving.

If grilling filet mignon on a gas grill, use the medium-high setting. Pre-heat the grill for about 20 minutes, and then add the steaks. After searing the steaks for two or three minutes on both sides, turn down the heat on grill for the remainder of the cooking time, otherwise the steaks will dry out.

Grilling filet mignon on a charcoal grill can be a bit trickier. The coals should reach a point where they are covered with white ash before the steaks are added to the grill. After searing the steaks on both sides, move some of the coals off to the side, away from the meat, and allow the steaks to finish cooking in the cooler area.

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    • Hot charcoal in a grill.
      By: Daniel Bujack
      Hot charcoal in a grill.
    • A filet mignon should be allowed to rest for at least five minutes before serving.
      By: Viktorija
      A filet mignon should be allowed to rest for at least five minutes before serving.